Oliver has returned home from prison, and things in Star City have changed. Still, it doesn’t take long for the former Green Arrow to take up his mantle again, and Oliver makes a decision that will change the course of his work forever. “Unmasked” marks the start of a new era of vigilantism.
Once again Oliver has returned home from a prolonged ordeal just to find himself struggling to get back to normal. His normal includes attending an event at which he is honoured for his work as the vigilante by the mayor. There he runs into Max Fuller, someone we haven’t heard of since season, where Oliver and Tommy (RIP) took a beating at his nightclub.
Before the night is over the team runs into trouble as several members of the audience are attacked by arrows. The mayor is quick to re-enforce the anti-vigilante law, but the team has a hard time believing that this was the work of the new Green Arrow, so they start investigating.
Dinah and Rene update Oliver on the information they have on the Green Arrow and Rene arranges a meeting with the new Green Arrow, but the hooded figure refuses to help and bolts. When the press learns of Oliver’s involvement in the open investigation, they wonder whether he is back to his vigilante ways. When the team looks into the killer’s victims, they find a connection to Max Fuller, a secret society at Yale. Oliver follows the lead but a discussion with the other man gets him nowhere.
Back at their home, Oliver and Felicity find themselves under attack. Felicity surprises Oliver by taking the intruder out with a gun, which prompts a conversation between the couple. He cannot recognize the woman in front of him who would go to Anatoli for a gun and side with Black Siren, and Felicity tells him she is not the girl he fell in love with, and that she had to take charge and protect herself from Diaz. They both decide they want to overcome the distance between them.
The SCPD find the mysterious killer in a hired hitman specializing in copying other people’s MOs, and the payment in crypto-currency takes Oliver back to Fuller. Dinah and Rene convince Oliver to join the SCPD as the Green Arrow and legitimately help the police take down criminals. As Oliver dons his old trusted suit he decides to forego the eye mask – the whole world already knows who is behind the alter ego.
The Green Arrow confronts Fuller in front of a maxed-out nightclub before the SCPD jumps in and arrests him. With camera phones at the ready, news of the collaboration between police and vigilantism spread fast. The mayor voices her concern, but Dinah decides to ignore her warning.
Meanwhile John and Lyla continue looking into the Dante painting Curtis decrypted, and the name is used as an alias within a variety of terrorist circles. They find that Dante is in direct connection to the Longbow Hunters. Forced into a dead corner the couple find themselves looking for answers with an unlikely ally – Ricardo Diaz.
In this week’s episode we finally learn who is behind the new Green Arrow, and it is not someone we have met before. It’s a young woman of Asian descent, and, as we learn by the end of the episode, she is the daughter of Robert Queen. Who is this mysterious half-sister of Oliver’s, and what is her play?
In the future, Dinah, William and Zoe are looking for Blackstar, the last person Felicity contacted before her death, and they find her at an illegal boxing match. The young woman, Maya, is not only a master fighter, she seems to have a rather close connection to Felicity, as news of her death visibly upset her. She tells them she used to work with Felicity, and helped her acquire specific items, including material for a bomb.
After not getting anywhere with Maya, William decides to stop his quest and go back home. Dinah reveals a tattoo on her forearm, the mark of four, which symbolizes the four pillars of heroism – courage, compassion, selflessness and loyalty. Oliver was the one who developed the mark, and as per Dinah it stood for the vigilante team. The older woman tells William that she sees a lot of his father in him, and William decides to follow his gut and continues looking into Blackstar.
William, Zoe and Dinah return to Maya‘s hideout and find plans to level parts Star City, similarly to the ones they have found at Felicity’s. They think Blackstar might be the one behind the plan, and possibly even Felicity’s killer. In order to gather more information, Dinah begs Zoe to get in touch with her father and the remainder of the Glades.
Arrow has been delivering a set of incredible episodes those past few weeks, episodes that in and of itself have been stronger than past season’s mid-season finales. This week is no exception.
Oliver has returned home, and unsurprisingly that comes with its difficulties, whether those are of a marital nature or relate to his (now official) work with the SCPD. We could have never expected Oliver’s return from prison to go over without a hitch, but for Arrow to proudly embrace vigilantes working with the police, and have Oliver fight crime without a mask is a big step,
“Unmasked” also introduces us to two new women in the Arrowverse, Katherine McNamara’s Blackstar, and Sea Shimooka’s mystery Queen. In the original comics Oliver’s half-sister Emiko Queen is the daughter of Robert Queen and Shado, who was born on Lian Yu and would later on become the Red Arrow. It will be interesting to see whether the TV series will follow a similar storyline and expose Robert’s ties to Lian Yu or will create a whole new background for Emiko.
McNamara has celebrated her debut as a character from the flash-forward, and someone who has closely worked with Felicity (sadly something we were not allowed to experience). Whether she is friend or foe is yet to be determined.
Felicity: “You were right you know, I’ve changed. More than you know. I almost killed Diaz and I would have killed him if Laurel hadn’t stopped me. I know that you’re gonna want to talk me down to the old Felicity, the one that you met during that red pen, but while you were gone I had to learn to protect myself … This isn’t on you. I love you more than a human being should love another human being. I just don’t know if what’s best for me is what’s best for us.”
Catch Arrow Monday’s at 8/7c on The CW.